If you are fighting against systemic racism in white America, you must always remember that “there are no new pains.” Otherwise, you’ll be discouraged when you needn’t be. After the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, we saw the emergence of “Defund the Police” as the Black Lives Matter
Wonderfully stated. It's no surprise that we see an uptick in entire police departments resigning when faced with a focused and new POC leader. This is a clear sign that both defunding and dismantling in some form are severely needed. It's particularly stinging to witness other culture's police forces such as the UK's behave in such a way that they appear to almost fear their citizenry, act as if they truly work for them, and wear those bright vests to symbolize the true servants they are to the people. Our cops are out of control and their protection from accountability shoots all the way to the supreme court. The fact that they can simultaneously legally lie to civilians while not being legally obligated to know the actual laws they are arresting someone for, is beyond preposterous and insulting. Because the corruption is so dangerously endemic, I feel that defunding in some capacity is the only way to make the kind of statement needed to make real change. Allies are not true allies if they aren't willing to upend or disrupt. They need to be "More Than A Marcher". They should be able to imagine a future with electric cars, bullet trains, trips to Mars and universal, federal laws that forces all local police departments to abide by the same policies that prevent them from murdering unarmed Americans... with severe repercussions when they do. Your and my Ally should welcome a new and improved hybrid form of policing that removes incentives to prey on the poor. Bullies don't listen to reason. They never have. They DO pay attention when you start to reduce their Power. "Bad Apple Retraining" has disastrously failed.
Great read. However, I read it and I'm still discouraged. It's a tall order to get so-called allies to see that systemic racism really is not in their best interests. The system -- white supremacy -- was designed solely in their best interests. No one wants to be on the bottom of such a system so other groups clamour to be white adjacent. As I see the demographics of my community and country (Canada) change, the one thing these disparate group seem to be in agreement on is that Blacks are on the bottom of the hierarchy. I believe in equality but I am tired of trying to convince others that I am equal. I continue to educate myself. (e.g. George Jackson; thanks for the rec). "There are no new pains" . My ancestors .didn't lose hope so how can I? Thank you Ms. Olurin for writing such a thought-provoking piece and for not giving up the fight.
Wow, that MLK jr. quote about decency over equality was strikingly true.
When I attend events that highlight Black, lgbtq+, Latino, etc. identities I've been (earnestly) asked why I'm there if the system that oppresses them benefits me. Although there's no denying that I benefit materially from white supremacy and cisheteronormativism, I strongly believe that we are missing out on so many ideas, enrichment, and people power by continuing to center white cis hetero identities and suppress all others. Not that my personal enrichment should matter--people should simply be treated as people--but white people who see Black, Brown, and queer success as a threat rather than a benefit are just plain wrong.